Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Creative Relationship Between the Blank Page and The Writer


Anyone who is a writer or has ever been given the task to write anything, be it a story, opinion, school paper or any of the other myriad of writings I left out, has always encountered the blank page.  Well, unless you do or have done your all of your writing on a computer, then I guess technically it would could be called a blank screen but I digress.

Nitpicking semantics aside, the relationship between the two is an interesting one to say the least.  This is because depending on the writer's situation, the blank page can be something that they will either embrace or down right curse.

There are times that a author has a very well laid plan or great idea, and the blank page is viewed as nothing more than a avenue used for delivering the intended message. Of course the converse to that notion would be those times that one embarks on their writing adventure with not much more than an opaque opinion or objective, waiting for that eureka moment that is not facilitated any easier with a blank surface staring up at you.

Upon reading my last two statements, the logical conclusion one would draw is that the evils of the blank page can be avoided by remembering that somewhat simplistic age old adage; “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. While the motto does have its merits and is probably a good way to conduct many of life's situations, it is by no means a panacea for all who fear the blank page.

For example, how many times have you done your do diligence in terms of research, outlining and planning. Then, when it comes time to take all that prep work and formulate your interesting engaging piece, you're paralysed staring down at a blank page because you can't deliver that opening line that grabs the reader's attention. 

To make matters more infuriating, you'll hear other writers talk about how some of their best work “just came to them when they least expected it”.  Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, you'll even hear a follow up stating that they finished their masterpiece in record time.

On behalf of all writers who are currently going through blank page-itis I'm sure their response to that would go something like this “%$#@& *#^ !! ”!

All kidding and pent up frustration aside, looking at this as a objective outsider you can see how this whole back and forth relationship between writer and blank page can be fascinating.  The conflict seen when the writer is annoyed with the sight of the blank page all the while knowing that he or she needs that blank page for them to complete their work is something I can appreciate from a human psychology standpoint.

So, next time you experience yourself going through what I illustrated above, try not to get too frustrated at your exercise in human psychology. Instead use those feeling of conflict to craft that next great story chapter or novel.

To close this I'll leave you with this quote from Terri Guillemets:  “Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, often times brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies.”

Copyright 07/27th/2011
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